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The Art of Japanese Monsters Hardcover – June 6, 2014
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I've spent the last several days pouring through its pages and I can't recommend it enough to anyone interested in the genre. Though already familiar with much of the Japanese and American poster art, on almost every page I found something, sometimes many images, of things I'd never seen before. The book tries to be all things to all readers and largely succeeds. In my case, I was dazzled by chihoban posters, different art created especially for outlying exhibition markets in then-rural Japan, and especially by the foreign posters, particularly the Thai ones, which often feature imaginative artwork and wildly inaccurate credits. A Spanish poster for ATRAGON, for instance, suggests a spy film and credits two of the Crazy Cats, Hitoshi Ueki and Hajime Hana, in the cast with the director listed as Toshio Sugie, who mostly did musicals and comedies. An Italian poster for the same film credits director James Honda and someone named Robert Wess gets second-billing. Undoubtedly the strangest one, though, is an Italian poster for THE MYSTERIANS, which lists early-talkie comedian Joe E. Brown in the cast. (What a picture THAT woulda made!) I found myself nostalgic for half-sheets and Mexican lobbies sold or lost when I moved to Japan, but mostly its hypnotic images, most much larger in their reproduction compared to similar Japanese books, held me captive. Great work, guys - It's something to be very proud of. And for those of you who don't yet own a copy: Buy One! You won't be disappointed. --Stuart Galbraith IV
Sean Linkenback's terrific new banquet for the eyeballs, THE ART OF JAPANESE MONSTERS (self-published, 2014), which knocked my socks off, my retina out, and had me drop everything to just steep myself in this feast of fantasy movie art. Sean's chronological showcase of every key Japanese daikaiju-eiga movie's int'l promo art starting with / GOJIRA / GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS (1954/1956) up to the present excluding the two American productions is a sumptuous, magnificent, intoxicating book that I most highly recommend. Very limited print run, so don't dawdle: get this while it can be got! 225+ full-color pages, jam-packed with sterling reproductions and Sean's concise, informative text bullets on each title. Some real surprises, and one piece in here answered a question I'd puzzled over since 1971... --Stephen Bissette
About the Author
Attorney by day, Japanese monster expert by night. Author of the highly-regarded Unauthorized Guide to Godzilla Collectibles, Linkenback finally returns with his much-anticipated follow-up. Known worldwide as one of the foremost experts in collectible movie posters and ephemera, Sean's favorites since childhood have long been the fantastic monsters from the cinema of the Far East. A life-long collector and cataloger of Godzilla, Gamera, and all their friends, Sean is always cheerful and willing to share his findings with others. Sean describes his life as one filled with passions for God, family, his business, and, of course, movie posters. He gives God the credit for everything positive in his life.
Top customer reviews
The original source of most of this amazing-Artwork comes from the extra-Large movie-posters displayed at Theater/Movie-house entrances and also those old-time `Lobby Card' photo-sets (that have become coveted collectibles & genuine rarities). With astonishingly brilliant & vibrantly colorful reproductions found in this compilation by Sean Linkenback.
The highly-collectible Posters and lobby-cards awesomely showcased here were mainly produced in Japan (hallowed birth-place of that master Thespian of Gigantic proportions `Gojira' of course) but also included are artistic interpretations form all over the World = e.g. from Theaters/Movie-screens across America, France, Thailand, Germany, Poland, Italy, etc. (i.e. wherever Godzilla and related `Kaiju' films found massive-popularity = `everywhere')
Although Godzilla/Gojira is the primary box office super-Star & Colossally ancient-reptilian-celebrity featured in most of these imaginatively Artistic-masterpieces, other nearly as charismatic creatures like fire-breathing Titanic-Turtle `Gamera' supersonic Mega-pterodactyl `Rodan' veteran-simian-thespian `King Kong' and triple-threat `Ghidorah' are also prominently featured!*
This sure brings back memories (although I wasn't actually born when the best of these Titanic-film productions were showcased in the mid-1950's thru mid-1960's) = I think the earliest Godzilla film I actually recall seeing first-hand was `Godzilla vs. Hedorah' (aka `Smog-Monster' in the US) = but even at 3 or 4 years old, I was already completely-hooked, and quite convinced that puny-human actors literally paled by comparison!
note*: and don't forget the intriguingly-mystical peace-loving mega-bug-eyed Mothra!